In just 50 minutes you’ll learn techniques for specific skills:
++Get Your Mind Right—planning for a great swim
++Breathe easy—key insights from physiology for comfort in the water
++The Warm up—how to have a great start and finish
++Wee (and not so wee) Besties—what is in that water anyway, and how to regard the marine life
++Feet and Elbows—overcoming getting touched by other swimmers
Don’t just endure the swim—learn to love it.
Presenter Will Murray is our Team’s mental skills coach, a USA Triathlon certified coach, and co-author of The Four Pillars of Triathlon: Vital Mental Skills for Endurance Athletes.
In my hometown, every Fourth of July begins with a one-mile race on the streets of Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s set up like the Fifth Avenue Mile or the Carlsbad 5000—waves of competitors, grouped by age and gender, compete against each other.
If I enter the Downtown Mile, I can choose the category in which I want to compete. Being “an old,” I can opt for the masters wave or if I’m feeling ambitious, I can go for the open division and risk being whooped by a pack of teenagers. Typically I opt to skip it altogether and volunteer instead.
However, if I decide to compete in the open category, place 10th, but run a faster time than the winner of the masters division, I don’t earn the first-place masters award—it was a different race, with different competitors, which created different racing strategies and dynamics. It was an entirely different competition—one in which I chose not to participate. I go home empty-handed.
Seems fair, doesn’t it?
In the aftermath of the 2018 Boston Marathon—a year in which the treacherous weather conditions played heavily into the racing tactics of top female athletes—three women in the open category and two masters athletes ended up in the final results with faster finishing times than women who received the prize money. The faster women were ineligible for the awards because they didn’t qualify to compete with the elite women’s-only field of 46 athletes, which started at 9:32 a.m. in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Instead, these women began at 10 a.m. in the next wave of 7,500 mixed-gender competitors.
What happened next included predictable outrage and backlash. Just as predictably, much of the controversy was unwarranted and based on misinformation. Some news outlets framed it as an issue of gender inequity. Others didn’t fully understand the rules involved.
For cyclists and triathletes, training with power is likely the most effective way to maximize results. Why? Power meters and the data they provide remove a lot of the guesswork from training by supplying precise, accurate information for accurate measurement of training intensity and load, unlike heart rate training or rate of perceived exertion (RPE) training.
Even when athletes recognize that power training offers significant benefits, many of them are apprehensive about jumping into the power-training game because they’ve heard it’s complex and they aren’t sure they have the knowledge or technical skills to get the most out of it.
I’d like to make it easier. Here are a few simple steps to get started with power training and how to better understand the entire power training process.
Step 1: Ride with power
The first thing your should do after you buy a new power meter is set up your head unit with some key metrics to track. I suggest setting power, heart rate, and speed to display on the screen.
And then just ride, observe and record. That’s all you should do for two to four weeks. Don’t change anything about your riding or training yet. Simply observe and begin to quantify your efforts.
Be sure to record all your workouts, no matter how small. It’s pretty simple to automate the recording and uploading process, and these records will become your data diary and will be highly useful in the future.
This first step gives you time to get a feeling for the relationship between power and effort, along with a basic understanding of the quantification of training. If you went up a short hill, did it feel hard? Your power meter now gives a number for “hard.” Hard for you might be 450 watts or 600 watts. Soft pedal down the other side of the hill and watch how many watts that generates.
On Thursday evening, IRONMAN Boulder RD Tim Brosious was on FB Live to talk about upcoming changes for the June 10 event. Most notable are the changes to the bike course and the point to point run course.
Long-Course Race Execution: All about Pacing and Nutrition
We’ve all witnessed the athlete that posts every workout on social media for months before their big Ironman. Epic days in the saddle over 140 miles, double and triple bricks taking up the entire weekend, runs that would make Alberto Salazar drool. They approach the starting line looking like a Greek god, lean, strong, and ready to take on the world. 14 hours later they have been limited to the “Ironman Shuffle”, hours from their goal just happy to finish. What happened?
Introducing the 4th and 5th disciplines: Pacing and Nutrition (not in any particular order)
Pacing or racing at a percentage of your threshold Heart Rate, Functional Threshold of Power (FTP), or pace/speed is absolutely imperative to crossing the finish line near the potential of your ability. If you don’t have a specific number in your head for the Bike and the Run as you read this it’s time to get evaluated. You can ask any qualified coach or sports science institute to have your threshold tested and determined on the bike and run via Lactate Threshold (LT) testing or as simple as a testing protocol on the trainer or treadmill. Besides LT testing, we have found great success nailing an athlete’s threshold level using the Wahoo Kickr™ trainers for the bike and a treadmill or the track for the run. Your threshold level will also change as your progress in your training so they need to be reevaluated at least every 6 weeks. Your pacing plan could be somewhere in the range of 75-88% of threshold for full-distance and 78-90% for half-distance but very individualized based on past race performance, training, and your discipline strengths.
With nutrition, there is no magic ingredient or formula for everyone attempting a long-course race. Most of us get in the habit of reading Elite athlete blogs or a race report from somebody that just punched their ticket to Kona and adapt to their plan of number of calories, carbs, electrolytes, and funky colored stuff in the water bottle. It is highly individual based on your body type, physiologically how your body processes and absorbs nutrients, race experience, training, and race day weather. What your coach or nutritionist should do is give you guidance to practice months out in the same environment of your race to develop a nutrition plan as important as a race plan and pacing plan.
Avoid the gut rot of gels and chewables as much as possible by consuming solid “real” foods at least the first 75% of the bike. If you wouldn’t eat this stuff on a normal day in the office, why would you eat it during your most important race? My favorites are energy balls, pancake sandwiches, broth, and portables.
Don’t forget liquids. Roughly one bottle of hydration (preferably electrolytes) per hour, more if the weather is hot or if you have a large stature or heavy sweater.
Percentage of calories, carbs, and nutrients from liquids increases as you approach the run leg due to GI distress experienced by most athletes
Percentages from liquids increase as weather heats up. Your body absorbs and processes slower as temperature increases.
Aim for 200-600 calories, 30-50g Carbs, 500-1000mg of Na PER HOUR from solid and liquid on the bike.
On the run, highly individual to what you can get in. The numbers above are reduced to the lower range. Keep the nutrition plan together as long as you can, be flexible and listen to your body. Sometimes Coca-Cola or a Red Bull is heaven’s nectar!
Every now and again a triathlete is suspended for failing controlled substance test. More often than not, the announcement is made by the IRONMAN® Anti-Doping Program and sometimes from USAT. This week, it was announced that American professional athlete Lucas Pozzetta accepted a six-month suspension for an anti-doping rule violation after testing positive for a prohibited substance from a contaminated product.
It’s actually less than easy to find out what the contaminated product is, and since I’ve managed and worked with a number of professional triathletes, and am vehemently against athlete doping, I always do my best to keep up to date, especially when it comes to contaminated products. For various legal reasons(I guess?) the products are almost never discussed in the press release announcing the findings. That’s what happened in this case. No named product.
I went and checked the High Risk List and while there is no indication of a link between Pozzetta and MetaSalt, it’s worth noting that MetaSalt has been updated on the High Risk List (see attached entry). In this case, we had a bottle on the shelf in the pantry. Unfortunately since there is no batch number, or other unique qualifying detail, I can only implore you to discard this if you have it, I did.
Racing Clean is not just the purview of pro’s and age group winners, it is an important stance for all of us to take. It’s not sufficient to just demand more testing, that would come at an enormous cost. It’s estimated it costs some $300,000 to catch one cheat. I don’t want that bill added to my race entry price. Train clean, race pure.